Why Crying is Good for Your Health
Crying is good for your health. This is something I’ve always been told, and I’ve always believed. When I cry, I feel better afterward (most of the time). If a great movie or TV show makes me sob, I feel recharged once I toss that last tissue away. This being the case, why are we so hard on ourselves when we feel like we’re going to cry?
Let Yourself Cry: Crying is Good for Your Health
Starting to cry may seem like a strange and random act of the body, but it actually accomplishes quite a lot. It may not be good for you simply as an act, but crying is good for your health when you let it happen. This includes both your physical and mental wellness.
Some of the Ways Crying is Good for Your Health
Here are just some of the ways that crying is good for your health and that you shouldn’t stop yourself from doing it. It’s also a great reason not to feel ashamed if you start crying. After all, self-care is very trendy. If you let yourself cry, you’re just taking care of yourself!
It’s a Stress-Reliever
My mother – who was likely quoting someone else – always used to tell me that we have an emotional bucket. Everything we go through in an hour, a day, a week and a month fills the bucket with every emotion we experience. Once it gets full, it spills over, and tears come out. Sometimes, it can take us weeks or months (though I don’t think I’ve ever gone that long). Other times, it can take us nothing more than minutes.
The physical act of crying when we are sad, frightened, or even extremely happy can relieve the physical tension associated with the stresses we’re experiencing, good or bad. Though scientists don’t know exactly why our feelings are connected to a good cry, they do know that it can bring us out of the fight or flight state and into a calmer state.
It’s a Mood Booster
Crying is good for our health in terms of our mood because when the stress is relieved, we can feel better from it. Research from the University of South Florida showed that about two out of every people say they feel better after they’ve cried. I’m definitely one of them! If I’m feeling stressed, sad, or otherwise unhappy, if I have a good cry from a book, a movie, or just a good sulk, I feel better afterward. I may not feel like dancing around, but I don’t feel as far down in the deeps as I did before the cry.
It Can Improve Communication or Even Bonding
Anyone who has ever raised an infant (or travelled in a plane with one) knows that crying is one of the first things we do in our lives. Well before we can talk, nod, or even smile, we can cry. It’s a fast way to communicate feelings and need that will be understood by other people at our most basic an instinctive level. When someone cries in a situation, it can express the nature of depth of their experience in a way that words may not be able to convey. On top of that, the vulnerability and honesty it suggests can also improve bonding in certain situations.
In these ways, as well as many more, excreting stress hormones, breathing more deeply, lubricating the eyes for improved vision health, and tensing and releasing muscles all make crying good for your health. The next time you feel the tears welling up, do yourself a favor and just go for it.